9 Rookie Mistakes by Aspiring Watch Collectors

Once you’re introduced to the world of horology, you may experience a strong desire to start a luxury watch collection. From Patek Philippe’s Nautilus to Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak — who could blame you for wanting to collect such magnificent timepieces? But before you make your first purchase, take note of these common mistakes new watch collectors make.

1. Buying too many too soon

If you rush the process and fill up your watch box too quickly, then you may end up with a bunch of timepieces that don’t speak to you or suit you. Avoid this common rookie mistake by taking your time and conducting thorough research before making a purchase. When you allow your collection to grow naturally, in the long run, you will have a personalized collection that brings you pride and joy.

2. Buying a watch on impulse

It can be tempting to buy the most eye-catching watch in the store, but buying on impulse can lead to regretful purchases. As mentioned, it is recommended to spend some time researching and reading reviews about each timepiece. Furthermore, if given the opportunity, try the watch on to see how it looks on your wrist. Doing so will help you determine if the style and design of the watch appeals to you.

On the other hand, if you are buying a watch online, then read the reviews of people who already own the watch and look for when-worn images. It’s also important to know which watch size fits your wrist best. You can determine your watch size by downloading this watch sizing guide and following the instructions.

These helpful tips should give you an idea of how a watch will look on you, thereby lowering the chances of buying a wristwatch and dreading how it looks on you.

3. Buying a high-priced watch too soon

In your eagerness to own a luxury watch, you may spend a substantial sum too fast, too soon. Here is a common scenario: A new collector wants a Rolex, which is a world-class brand with an impressive history. To this budding collector, wearing a Rolex would make him feel successful and more accomplished. And so, he goes on ahead and buys a Rolex, only to learn that he would have been happier with something less expensive.

To avoid making any regretful mistakes, consider buying a less-expensive designer watch in the style of a high-priced model. For instance, if Rolex watches fascinate you, consider purchasing a Tudor timepiece instead. Tudor is the sister brand of Rolex, meaning both companies use the same case materials and produce similar designs, bracelets, and dials. As you wear your Tudor watch, you will discover whether or not you love Rolex watches. What’s more, and you won’t be spending too much money on the experiment.

4. Buying a certain watch because it’s popular

Spending your hard-earned money on an expensive watch just because it’s on-trend can lead to disappointment. The solution is simple: Buy a watch because you want it, not because everyone else has it.

5. Assuming that the more you spend, the better the quality

Although some of the best-quality watches are, indeed, the most expensive, it is not always the case. For example, lesser-known brands sometimes sell their timepieces at a much higher price to create the illusion of luxury, making consumers believe that they are purchasing a high-end timepiece from a luxury brand. 

Before you buy a watch for your collection, consider its overall design and function, including its dial design, finishings, balance, movement, and complications. Compare brands based on what they offer instead of the price tag at which they sell their timepieces.

6. Believing that an in-house movement is always essential

The quality of the movement determines the accuracy of a watch. However, a misconception is that a quality watch must have an in-house movement. The problem is that if you limit yourself to in-house movements, then you will miss out on more affordable and high-quality watches like the Valjoux 72 or 7750, the Peseux 260, or the ETA 2892.

Of course, an in-house movement does not instantly transform a good watch into an amazing one. There are several other factors you need to consider, including the construction of the watch, its dial design and layout, exterior finishing, and movement.

7. Buying the wrong watch for your lifestyle

An effective way to determine whether an analog or digital watch will suit your lifestyle is to imagine how your everyday life will look with your new timepiece. For instance, if you intend to wear your new watch in a professional setting such as your workplace, then you may want to invest in an analog watch complete with an elegant or polished appearance. On the other hand, a digital watch may be more suited for you if you prefer something that has high-tech features, such as a built-in alarm or stopwatch.

8. Neglecting to insure your luxury watches

Standard home and contents insurance typically do not include the repair or replacement of stolen or damaged watches. Instead of taking that risk, ensure to protect your timepieces with watch insurance.

9. Forgetting who the watch is for

This one last tip is perhaps the most important: remember that you’re buying a new watch for yourself. Don’t buy a watch because a celebrity, influencer, coworker, or neighbor told you so. Even if the watch appeals to them, it doesn’t mean you should force yourself to feel the same way. In that same vein, never let anyone else’s negative opinion about a watch you love influence your opinion. The one person your watch should impress is you.

The Takeaway

After decades of being members of the watch community, our team here at Biltmore Loan and Jewelry has noticed the same patterns. Almost every new watch collector makes at least one of these nine mistakes, and we are hoping that sharing them will help prevent you from making the same errors as your predecessors.

If, however, you’ve already made a regretful purchase, then we would be more than happy to buy your watch for a fair price. Complete this online form now to request a free market appraisal.